fess

verb
\ ˈfes How to pronounce fess (audio) \
fessed; fessing; fesses

Definition of fess

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to own up : confess usually used with up

fess

noun
\ ˈfes How to pronounce fess (audio) \
variants: or less commonly fesse

Definition of fess (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a broad horizontal bar across the middle of a heraldic field
2 : the center point of an armorial escutcheon

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Synonyms & Antonyms for fess

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of fess in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And Ramona didn't fess up to being a socially incompetent citizen who has traveled for the entirety of quarantine or anything like that. Jodi Walker, EW.com, "The Real Housewives of New York City recap: The return of Tinsley and her unseen footage," 11 Sep. 2020 Instead of trying to take the easy way out, straighten your spine, fess up and do the right thing. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, "Dear Abby: Woman left one brother, now engaged to the other, still embroiled with both," 1 June 2020 The legal consequences for fessing up to error (if not going so far as to be apologetic) is coming up in court after Fox News retracted some of its reporting about the 2016 murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Fox News Admits Error. It's Now Become a Constitutional Issue.," 23 Apr. 2020 Medved laughed, fessing up to a bit of hoops masochism. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, "CSU Rams G Kris Martin warns Duke and Coach K: “We’re coming to win the game”," 6 Nov. 2019 But later in the episode, which was taped in March, Gina fessed up. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "Gina Kirschenheiter Admits She Slept with Her Ex-Husband Months Before Domestic Violence Charges," 29 Oct. 2019 Despite intense interrogation, Aston won't fess up. John Pearley Huffman, Car and Driver, "James Bond Gets a Stunt Double in No Time to Die—So Does Aston Martin's DB5," 20 Feb. 2020 If the price is outlandishly high, then the idea is never going to happen, supporters should fess up. Jennifer Rubin, The Denver Post, "Rubin: Harris’ health care retreat shows it never pays to follow the herd," 20 Aug. 2019 But sometimes the numbers just don’t add up, or fess up, and Game No. Kevin Paul Dupont, BostonGlobe.com, "They didn’t score any goals but Bruins’ fourth liners made their presence felt in victory," 10 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Instead of trying to take the easy way out, straighten your spine, fess up and do the right thing. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, "Dear Abby: Woman left one brother, now engaged to the other, still embroiled with both," 1 June 2020 Not until after the game -- LSU beat South Carolina 6-4 to stay alive in the SEC Tournament -- did Peterson fess up. Christopher Dabe, NOLA.com, "Todd Peterson's high school coach tells truth about LSU pitcher's hitting ability," 25 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fess.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fess

Verb

1840, in the meaning defined above

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fess

Verb

short for confess

Noun

Middle English fesse, from Anglo-French faisse band, from Latin fascia — more at fascia

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Time Traveler for fess

Time Traveler

The first known use of fess was in the 15th century

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Statistics for fess

Cite this Entry

“Fess.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fess. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fess

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